Unable to sleep
4:05 AM and have a teleconference at 8:00 AM.
I just had a conversation about God on Facebook with a high school friend I used to drink with. He probably doesn’t even remember that. He was preaching to me. He was preaching truth to me. Why am I so thick-headed sometimes? I’m very, very grateful for our conversation.
After writing my last post, I was encouraged. Motivated. Ready to get to sleep, get up tomorrow and fix this situation. Dig myself out of this hole. Start over for the 1000th time. Now here at 4:19, after being awakened and battling fear, my motivation has seeped away.
I need to sense God’s presence.
Laying here, Philippians 4:7 has come to mind. I put it on my FB wall:
Tonight, I suppose, this is what I am really praying. What my soul longs for. It’s been a rough week. And rough weeks come and go. It won’t stay rough. But tonight, here about an hour or so away before I need to be up, my resolve is weakened.
Right before this verse, he says Rejoice! He says it twice even. He says let your reasonableness be known to man. He says be anxious for nothing, but in prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, give your requests to God. And after this verse, he lists all the things we should think on…the good, the lovely, the truth, etc.
This entire passage is not nothing. And yet is is 4:7 that I’m praying for right now. I want to know God’s peace in such a real way, because I want it to guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.
Isn’t it interesting to think that it is God’s peace that guards our hearts and minds? It’s not His strength or His might. It’s not His commandments and our adherence to them. It’s not His sovereignty, though that is absolutely a part of it. But rather, it’s His Peace. His quiet peace that surpasses all understanding.
And this peace will guard our hearts and minds in His son Christ Jesus. What does that mean? I like to think of “my heart” as rather being “my soul”, and when my soul is in turmoil, what settles it the most is scripture work. Study. Prayer. I can generally step outside of myself and reasonably preach the gospel to myself, and “settledness” comes. A settledness that very much feels like peace, and is sometimes accompanied with a sense of God’s presence.
But I love that God didn’t stop with the soul, he brought the mind into it as well. Because when my mind is in turmoil, it is much more difficult to “step outside of myself”. My mind becomes a place I’d rather not be in. I think. I think and I think and I think. My mind rarely is still. it is not still tonight. Phil 4:7 assures me that God’s peace—a peace I can’t even begin to understand–will guard not only my soul, but my mind as well. O God, I need that now. I need that today. I need that now at 4:47 AM, as I sit here thinking and praying. Do you see? Do you know? Do you hear? You must, because scripture is truth. You are truth.
Why does this verse say that our hearts and our minds will be guarded in Christ Jesus? Theologians much smarter than myself would probably give the right answer. But I’m too tired to look it up, an my Logos software is still broken. But here’s the thought that comes to my mind. We are told that we have an intercessor in Jesus:
Maybe our hearts and minds are guarded in Jesus because he intercedes for us—asking the Father to grant the peace we–I–so desperately need for both my soul and my mind.
Another verse my friend on FB reminded me of tonight was the verse I so often pray before I go to sleep. I don’t believe it was a coincidence that he mentioned it to me: Psalm 127:2
I’ll not pontificate on that verse here–I’ve written much about it elsewhere. Instead it is 5:00 am. I will lay back down–actually I’m already laying down–and I will pray. Maybe God will grant another hour of sleep before the day begins. Maybe He won’t. But either way, I can feel a settling in my soul after doing this work, and a bit of quieting in my mind as well. I’ll roll over and spend time in prayer, thanking Him for whatever measure of peace He grants me to do what I need to do today. His mercies are new every morning.
I’ve got work to do. And I can’t do it without His help.